The air quality advisory remains in effect for the Eastern Fraser Valley (EFV) as the area reaches 10+ (very high health risk) on the Air Quality Health Index.
At 10+ on the Air Quality Health Index, people are advised to avoid strenuous activities outdoors, especially if they are children, elderly, or are experiencing symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation. Exposure to the fine particle matter and smoke is also concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, diabetes and respiratory infections, as well as for pregnant women, infants, and those who work outdoors. Those without proper housing or shelter are also at risk.
Metro Vancouver issued the air quality advisory for the EFV on Sunday (Oct. 16) due to smoke from wildfires burning throughout the area and Washington. A number of wildfires near Chilliwack, Hope, Harrison Lake, and in Washington continue to produce smoke that is impacting the region.
Several communities close to the fires are experiencing poor air quality compared to Metro Vancouver, with wildfire smoke, high humidity and low wind speeds contributing to high concentrations of fine particulate matter and hazy skies.
The advisory is expected to remain in effect for the next few days as stagnant weather conditions, predicted to persist for several days, mean that air quality may not change.
Aside from reducing outdoor activities, Metro Vancouver also advises keeping cool when possible and staying hydrated. Indoor spaces with HEPA air filtration and air conditioning can also offer relief.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, seek prompt medical attention. Call 911 in the case of an emergency.